MAYFLOWER, Ark. – Arkansas is on track to lead the country when it comes to responding to child abductions. This week, numerous law enforcement agencies around the state went through the final training to be a “Child Abduction Response Team” or CERT.
In the heart of the command center, dozens of law enforcement officials are using intelligence to find a child that has been taken. But, this time, it’s all a drill.
Each agency and person has a different job It’s all apart of the bigger picture to find the child.
“When a child is abducted, the sooner these things can move in motion, the greatest chance we will have for a successful recovery of that child,” Criminal Justice Institute director Dr. Cheryl May said.
After this training, Arkansas will be the first in the country to have child abduction response teams stations in all reaches of the state.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for the state of Arkansas,” Arkansas State Police Captain Jason Aaron said.
Several state, county, and local law enforcement play a role from the command center to the crime scene. Including the Criminal Justice Institute and Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
“The most important thing for me, in that regard, is that all of our kids are covered,” Dr. May said.
Dr. May says while this is only a drill, they keep in mind cases from the past, like when Morgan Nick vanished in 1995 from a ball field in Alma.
“I think Morgan is in all of our hearts every day and we want to make sure we can do everything for every child in this state,” Dr. May said.
They are preparing themselves for the best outcome in the worst situation.
“If there is any child that goes missing, is abducted, or is endangered in this state, I have full confidence,” she said.